Chennaiyin FC scored thrice in the second half to come from behind and secure a 3-2 victory against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Sunday.

With five different scorers on the sheet, it was an action-packed contest that saw a combined total of 30 shots being taken by both teams.

Chennaiyin FC moved to the ninth spot in the table with 20 points from 19 games, and the team is firmly in the race to qualify for the playoffs courtesy of this breathtaking victory. Contrastingly, the Mariners (39) trail table-toppers Mumbai City FC (41) at present, thus adding immense significance to their clash on this very ground in the City of Joy on April 15.

Joni Kauko opened the scoring for the Mohun Bagan Super Giant by hammering home a low cross by Liston Colaco in the 29th minute of the game. Colaco had come across a terrific chance to draw the first blood 10 minutes prior to this move. His dazzling footwork on the left flank was followed by a fierce shot, which unfortunately for him was hit straight to Debjit Majumder. For Kauko though, the Indian attacker displayed timely awareness to lay up the pass that led to the goal.

What followed was a frenetic passage of play late into the second half, with four goals being scored by both teams in the eventual 30-odd minutes. Jordan Murray secured the equalizer for the Marina Machans with a stunning solo effort in the 72nd minute of the match. Connor Shields had delivered the ball in Murray’s path, but the latter took over the entire mantle of the move thereafter. He cut in from the right flank and demonstrated clinical finishing efficiency to send the ball beyond Vishal Kaith and draw the scores level.

Eight minutes later, Rafael Crivellaro delivered a pinpoint corner into the box that was headed into the back of the net by Ryan Edwards to help Chennaiyin FC take a one-goal lead. Much before the Chennaiyin FC comeback commenced, Armando Sadiku had produced a scintillating effort to double the lead of the Mariners around the 70th-minute mark. The Albanian forward had shot at Chennaiyin FC's goal from a significant distance, with the ball dipping as it approached the post. It didn’t rattle the net but surely brought everyone to the edge of their seats.

Sadiku helped the cause of the Mariners by drawing a foul in the 90th minute, and Petratos stepped up to convert it by slotting it into the bottom right corner to drag the home side back into the game. Credit to Chennaiyin FC, they didn’t let their guard down anytime soon. Their domestic contingent rose to the occasion in the final few minutes, with Ayush Adhikari delivering a through ball that was met by Irfan Yadwad, who slotted the ball into the centre of the goal to score the winner.

Key Performer of the Match

Jordan Murray (Chennaiyin FC)

Across 88 minutes, Murray scored once, completed 16 out of his 23 passes, tackled once, made a solitary clearance and also tackled twice to deliver an all-round performance for the visitors.

What’s next for both teams?

Mohun Bagan Super Giant will play their next game against Punjab FC on April 6. Chennaiyin FC will return to action against Jamshedpur FC on April 4.

Brief Scores

Chennaiyin FC 3 (Jordan Murray 72’, Ryan Edwards 80’, Irfan Yadwad 90+7’) – 2 Mohun Bagan Super Giant (Joni Kauko 29’, Dimitrios Petratos 90+4’)

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